UN's health agency worried about growing child obesity

The number of obese and overweight children in the world could balloon from 44 million in 2012 to 75 million in 2025, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned on Friday.

This is faster than the growth rate from 1990, when the number was 31 million, said the UN's health body.

In Africa alone, the number of obese and expanded from four to 10 million over the same period.

"Child obesity is one of the major health issue for tomorrow and today," Peter Gluckman, who co-presides over the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity, told reporters in Geneva.

The 15-member commission was created by the WHO in June and finished its first meeting on Friday.

Overweight children are more likely to develop serious diseases like diabetes or cancer, and action now may prevent a heavy burden on health systems in the future, said Gluckman.

"Social scientists, public health specialists, clinical scientists and economists will join together to synthesise the best available evidence into a coherent plan," said a WHO document on the commission's mission.

It must produce a report for the World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the WHO, which meets in Geneva once a year.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Financial crisis spurred obesity: OECD

May 27, 2014

The 2008 financial crisis spurred obesity's spread in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's 34 member countries—most of whose inhabitants are overweight, an OECD report said Tuesday.

Kindergarten weight strong indicator of childhood obesity

Jan 29, 2014

A recent study by researchers from Emory's Rollins School of Public Health suggests that development of new childhood obesity cases, or incidence, is largely established by kindergarten. The study showed that overweight kindergarteners ...

Recommended for you

Waistlines of US adults continue to increase

1 hour ago

The prevalence of abdominal obesity and average waist circumference increased among U.S. adults from 1999 to 2012, according to a study in the September 17 issue of JAMA.

The public's perception of the obesity epidemic

Sep 15, 2014

Obesity has been called a major health crisis and a national epidemic. Health authorities, including prominent spokespeople like Michelle Obama and the Surgeon General, have sounded the alarm, and the media ...

User comments